Khaire to face uphill battle against Cong in Aurangabad
Three-time sitting Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire may face an uphill task in coming election after former MP Uttamsinh Pawar decided to withdraw from the race by not filing his nomination as an Independent against Congress' official nominee for Aurangabad Lok Sabha seat after consulting with party top brass.
Mr Khaire had emerged victorious in last three elections in row against the Congress nominees A R Antuly (1999), Ramkrishnababa Patil (2004) and Uttamsinh Pawar (2009).
In 2009 election, he managed to retain the seat margin of 33,000 votes against Mr Pawar who got 2,22,882 votes, while Ellora seer Shantigiri Maharaj finished third with 1,48,026 votes and BSP candidate Sayed Saleem bagged 32,000 votes. This time party has given ticket to former Kannad MLA and Maratha man Nitin Patil, who is son of district bank chairman Suresh Patil, thus upsetting Mr Pawar.
The party, however, succeeded in pacifying Mr Pawar and finally he announced his decision not to contest election as Independent candidate and did not file nomination.
After Mr Pawar's withdrawal, Mr Khaire and Mr Patil have filed their nomination papers and are now engaged in canvassing in the constituency. With the entry of noted social activist Subhash Lomate as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate in poll fray, there might be a change in equations in the constituency.
The Aurangabad constituency is dominated by the Maratha community, followed by Muslims, SCs and STs, which may help the Congress this time. The workers of both the Congress and NCP are working seriously for the victory of the Congress nominee Mr Patil, opined political experts.
Mr Khaire, on the other hand, is confident of his victory for the fourth time in a row, riding on the ''Modi effect''. Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to begin in Maharashtra on April 10. Polling for the state spread over three phases-April 10, 17 and 24, Aurangabad will vote in the last phase. The result will be out on May 16.
(Posted on 05-04-2014)